Having made the cut for the 18-member squad for the 19th Asian Games Hangzhou 2022, the Indian Men’s Hockey Team forward Gurjant Singh is looking to make an impact with his skills and experience as he oozes confidence ahead of the big-ticket event.
The 28-year-old forward, who made his senior team debut against Belgium during a Test Series in 2017, missed out on the previous edition of the Asian Games due to an injury. This will be Gurjant’s first appearance at the marquee event.
“I missed the previous edition of the Asian Games due to an injury, I had to follow the team from home, which was pretty difficult for me. But, I am honoured and excited to have gotten the chance this time to represent my country at the prestigious event. I have worked hard on my skills over the past few months and I am looking forward to giving my absolute best to help the team achieve the goal,” he expressed.
One of the mainstays in India’s current forwardline, Gurjant was introduced to hockey by his cousin brother who lived in Batala, about 40 km from his birthplace Amritsar, Punjab. He honed his skills at the Chandigarh Hockey Academy before helping India clinch the 2016 FIH Junior Men’s World Cup in Lucknow. He went on to contribute to the Indian Team’s memorable victories, which include, the Bronze medal win at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, third place finish at the FIH Pro League 2022/23, Silver medal win at the Commonwealth Games 2022 and the recent Asian Champions Trophy 2023 glory.
Speaking about his role at the upcoming Asian Games, the forward said, “It has been a wonderful journey so far. I have always got the support from my teammates and I am really grateful for that. I have been part of the team for quite some time now, and I have grown and learned a lot as a player in the past couple of years. My role at the Asian Games will be different, it will be about taking that ownership, and the focus will be on executing my finishing skills to the T.”
India are grouped with Pakistan, Japan, Bangladesh, Singapore and Uzbekistan in Pool A. They will open their 19th Asian Games Hangzhou 2022 campaign against Uzbekistan on 24 September 2023.
Gurjant, who has made 91 international appearances so far, said that the team will be focusing on playing good hockey and executing their plans. “We know what is at stake; all the teams will be aiming for nothing short of winning the Gold. It will certainly be tough, but we are up for the challenge, and will give our everything to win the Gold and ultimately qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympics”
“Although we won against some of the teams at the Asian Champions Trophy in Chennai, we can’t take that for granted. There are quality teams, our focus will be on playing good hockey and executing our plans,” he concluded.